Small businesses in need of financial assistance can now turn to the city of Greenville for help.
On June 23, the city launched its Small Business Boost program, which provides a one-time $1,000 grant to businesses recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Restaurants and bars, hotels and motels, retail stores and personal service establishments can all apply for funding, said Ginny Stroud, the city’s interim community and economic development director.
“It’s intended to be available to a wide range of small businesses. We want to make the funding as easy and as streamlined as possible to receive,” Stroud said.
Applications can be found at greenvillesc.gov/businessboost.
The grants are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.
To be eligible, businesses must have a storefront in the city of Greenville, have a current business license and be independent or locally owned with no more than 49 employees. Businesses must also commit to the Greater Greenville Pledge in which businesses vow to promote social distancing, clean frequently, limit occupancy and encourage face coverings and hand sanitizing.
“That’s the final criteria that we think is very, very important,” Stroud said.
Businesses that have filed for bankruptcy or earn more than $1 million in gross annual sales aren’t eligible for funding.
The city has allotted $250,000 for the program — enough for 250 grants. The program uses money that was already appropriated for the Unity Park project, according to Stroud.
Grant recipients can use the money however they see fit, said City Councilwoman Dorothy Dowe.
“There is no money out there that I’m aware of for small businesses that can be used at their discretion to help prop up their business to get through this,” Dowe said. ” That’s what these grants are meant to be.”
Going forward, Unity Park donors can designate up to 10% of their contributions to the Business Boost Fund.
It’s a way for the community to support small businesses who continue to be hampered by the coronavirus, according to Dowe.
“We have an extraordinarily generous community, and we have tremendous will in our community to keep our small businesses going,” Dowe said.